NCDP Clips for Thursday, March 5th, 2015

NCDP Clips for Thursday, March 5th, 2015

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LEGISLATURE 2015

LIVE ONLINE! Watch Gov.and his budget; McCrory and the courts (WRAL-TV) — THE BUDGET: Gov. Pat McCrory will roll out his budget at 11 a.m. The governor has dropped a few hints about what might be in the document, including following through on a promise to raise the state’s starting teacher salary to $35,000 per year. WRAL.com will carry the news conference live. IN COURT: A three-judge panel will hear McCrory’s lawsuit against General Assembly leaders over legislative appointments to boards and commissions, including the Coal Ash Management Commission. WRAL.com will carry the hearing live, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Republican-led House blocks 20 percent cut in state gas tax — The state House gave preliminary approval 70-47 Wednesday night to block a 20 percent cut in the state’s gasoline taxes, an effort aimed at stopping a large shortfall from forming in the state’s road-building revenues starting July 1.

Quest for auto manufacturer pushes House to approve incentives bill (WRAL-TV) — House members tentatively voted to approve an expansion of the state’s incentive program. North Carolina’s efforts to attract an auto manufacturer were mentioned several times during Wednesday’s debate.

Chief Justice warns inadequate budget causes court delays (Charlotte Observer) — North Carolina’s top jurist Wednesday portrayed a judicial system increasingly strained by years of budget pressures and long delays in the delivery of justice. “The resulting delays erode public trust and confidence in the integrity of the justice system,” Chief Justice Mark Martin told the General Assembly. “We all know that justice that is delayed is justice denied.” Martin, a registered Republican, described a system where lab results in DWI cases routinely take more than a year to process, where jurors are paid with money intended for staff, and where prosecutors turn to plea bargains to avoid the cost of a trial.

Push against corporate political speech faces uphill battle in Raleigh (WRAL-TV) — Citizens and lawmakers are asking the state legislature to call on the U.S. Congress to help amend the constitution to do away with corporate speech in elections. But Republicans who control the General Assembly are largely against the bill.

Animal welfare advocates meet NC lawmakers (Raleigh News & Observer) — Animal welfare advocates gathered at the NC General Assembly on Wednesday for workshops and meetings with legislators to push for improved laws.

N.C. House hears public’s take on marriage opt-out bill (Greensboro News & Record) — — The N.C. House took its first crack at state Sen. Phil Berger’s marriage service opt-out bill Wednesday.

House bill could revive state historic preservation credits (Winston-Salem Journal) — House Bill 152 lists recommendations most recently attempted in July: a 15 percent tax credit for qualified expenditures up to $10 million, and a 10 percent tax credit for qualified expenditures between $10 million and $20 million.

NC Senate panel to review bill that reshapes Greensboro City Council (Greensboro News & Record) — Senate Bill 36 — state Sen. Trudy Wade’s bill to reshape the Greensboro City Council — will have its coming out party in Raleigh today. And local folks plan to be there to see its debut. The Senate redistricting committee will consider the bill this afternoon. It will be the first legislative vetting of the controversial proposal — and the first time Wade will publicly make the pitch for it.

GOP bill to redraw Wake commissioners boundaries rankles Dems (WRAL-TV) — A proposal by Sen. Chad Barefoot would expand the number of Wake County commissioners. The Republican said it would give small towns better representation, but a key Democrat says he is undermining election results.

POLICIES & POLITICS

McCrory confesses to more mistakes on ethics filings (WNCN-TV) — Gov. Pat McCrory is under fire again for omissions on his state ethics filings. McCrory failed to disclose several trips paid for by a political group. The Republican Governors Association confirmed it paid for McCrory’s hotels and meals at conferences in Scottsdale, Arizona, Charleston, South Carolina and New Orleans. “It’s entirely proper for the RGA to pay for expenses for not only me but for my staff especially instead of the tax payers of North Carolina for important meetings,” said McCrory. “These trips should very clearly be reported as gifts,” said Logan Smith, communications director for Progress NC Action. This is the third time McCrory has been questioned about the way he filed his Statement of Economic Interest.

As McCrory prepares to unveil budget, its foundation has shifted(Raleigh News & Observer) — The state legislature changed the starting point for new budgets, making the cost of increased public school enrollment and higher Medicaid enrollment debatable items.

Governor to announce veterans employment initiative (WECT) – Gov. Pat McCrory will visit Camp Lejeune Thursday afternoon to make a veterans employment initiative announcement. Military Affairs Advisor and retired Major General of the U.S. Marine Corps General Cornell A. Wilson, Director of Veterans Affairs Ilario Pantano, and Will Collins, the executive director of NCWorks are among those expected in attendance.

Unhealthy State Could Create Unhealthy Economy in NC (Public News Service) — – North Carolina isn’t making the grade when it comes to the health of its citizens, according to the 2015 North Carolina Prevention Report Card released by the health advocacy group Prevention Partners.

Voters Have One Year To Get An NC Photo ID (WUNC-FM) — About 218,000 North Carolina voters don’t have government-issued photo identification. But they’ll need one to vote at the polls in next year’s presidential primary. Voters can choose from a number of official ID cards: A state-issued drivers license or learners permit, a U.S. passport or military ID, veterans ID, and certain cards for members of Native American tribes in North Carolina.

Showdown between governor, legislature goes to court (WRAL-TV) — Gov. Pat McCrory says lawmakers usurped his authority when they created the Coal Ash Management Commission. Lawmakers say the General Assembly has appointed members to boards and commissions for more than a century.

Goodwin: Dems must refocus to regain power (Laurinburg Exchange)